Where is the dividing line?

10 May

I have some questions, and I’m not trying to pick a fight, these are legitimate questions:

Calling marriage a civil union changes it how?

My parents were not married by a priest, or a bishop, they were married by a Justice of the Peace. Was that a civil union, or a marriage?

A man and woman can be married, but a woman and woman or a man and a man can only be joined in a civil union, but both will have the exact same legal restrictions and benefits attached, so it’s just a name thing?

If marriage is a religious sacrament, then can it only be performed by someone appointed to do so by religions, and if so why do those performing a religious sacrament have to be recognized by the state (government) for it to be accepted by the state?

Clearly marriage is not only a religious sacrament, but an act of the state as well. I had to get a marriage license from the state of Maryland before I could be married (sealed) in the Washington DC Temple to my wife; so, which is it, a religious sacrament or a civil act of the state?

Do we – as a nation – change the term marriage so it means only the act performed by religious authority, and if performed by anyone else it’s a civil union? And which religions do we recognize to be legally able to perform this rite?

Same sex relationships are taught by almost every religion to be sinful, but in the United States of America we have a clearly defined separation of Church and State, which by-the-way, protects not only the civil population from a state proscribed religion but the state – and hence the civil population – from religious theocratic rule. If we, as a people, proscribe marriage based on religious definition upon the civil population, what else will we proscribe thence, and which religion gets to be the determining authority? Which brand of Christianity gets to rule the nation from behind the curtain, or which group of religions? Is this not the beginnings of the dreaded Sharia Law as practiced by some in the world of Islam?

What other rules from the Old Testament do we proscribe upon the civil population? Do we – as parents – get to stone our children if they are disobedient? Do we kill the man who plants two different crops side by side? Do we kill those who break the Sabbath?

What is the dividing line between theocratic rule and our constitutionally established democratic republic?


Posted by on May 10, 2012 in 2012 Election


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2 responses to “Where is the dividing line?

  1. RH

    May 10, 2012 at 19:51

    Thank you Sir, for your thoughtful, logical, eloquent exploration of this issue.

  2. frogcycle

    May 12, 2012 at 04:06

    Precisely! To take it a little further, regardless of what rites the religious representative performs, it is still required to sign a state-issued marriage certificate with witnesses. That part is where the state-recognized Civil Union contract is executed. The rest is all pomp and circumstance without legal standing. Even now, the minister, rabbi, or whatever does not actually “marry” the people. When they sign the contract with witnesses they “marry” themselves. Change the name of the certificate, let religions issue their own whatever-they-want-to-call-it, and we’re done with this conversation. If people want the religion-only version, fine. They get the same rights as any two people living together, which is to say nothing beyond those of any two individuals.


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